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South Dakota: Did You Know?

Did you know that voters in South Dakota recently rejected multiple abortion bans?

In November 2006, South Dakota voters clearly rejected—by a 56% to 44% margin—a near-total ban on abortion.

Despite the failure in 2006, anti-choice advocates in South Dakota succeeded in putting another abortion-ban measure on the November 2008 ballot. This ban, like the 2006 attempt, would have opened the door for more government interference in women's personal medical decisions had it passed, despite the fact that South Dakota already imposes numerous restrictions on women’s access to abortion care and other reproductive-health services. The initiative would have banned abortion procedures entirely, expect in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Additionally, a doctor who violated the law would have faced 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

South Dakota voters decisively rejected this most recent attempt to ban abortion in their state by a 55% to 45% margin.


Terry Woster, S.D. Rejects Another Try at Abortion Ban, Argus Leader, Nov. 5, 2008; Initiative Petition, An Act to Protect the Lives of Unborn Children, available here (last visited Jan. 14, 2011); Carson Walker, Petition Effort Seeks to Ban Most Abortions, Assoc. Press, Dec. 15, 2007; Chet Brokaw, Many Lawmakers Support Another Vote on Abortion, Assoc. Press, Jan. 6, 2008; S.D. Codified Laws § 22-6-1(7)(Enacted 1939; Last Amended 2005). Peter Slevin, S. Dakota Readies Again for Abortion Fight, The Washington Post, Sep. 21, 2008.

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